Mitchel Moles Drives to Most Successful Weekend of the Season While Pulling Double Duty
(Image by Cameron Hageman) Sprint Car Insider: FRESNO, Calif. (June 4, 2018) —> Mitchel Moles graced victory lane with his presence for the first time in 2018 Saturday Night at Lemoore Raceway.
In a season comprised of podium finishes and impressive runs, Mitchel Moles, closed the deal in the Non-Wing 600 class at Lemoore Raceway Saturday night. He not only captured his first checkered flag of the season, but gave the Lemoore faithful a double-dose of mic time by landing a podium in the Super 600 class as well.
It all began in early in the week. Moles decided to pull the trigger on putting Adams Performance under the hood of Shawn Smith’s wing car. With California Speedweek and the Clay Cup Nationals on the horizon, it’s never too early to get things dialed in. Firday night, the final decision was made to bolt everything down, and go for broke at Saturday’s race at Lemoore. It took a lot of work, and a lot of parts hunting, but the 01 rolled out of the trailer at the track on race day.
Things were looking good for Moles from the get. When he went out to qualify in non-wing, he went straight to the top of the board. Clocking in with a 12.542, Moles landed quick-time over T.J Smith, by just .008, or eight one- thousandths of a second. Along with a fourth quick in the wing car, the night was shaping up nicely.
Two runner-up finishes in heat races landed him directly into both main events. First, he would roll off from the 3rd position in the 30-lap Super 600 feature. As the green flag dropped Moles would file into position. The first two thirds of the race went problem free. A restart with 11 to-go would see the field bunch back up, and things get dicey. Early leader Garrett Twitty would succumb to the pressure of Raio Salmon. Smelling blood in the water, Moles pounced on the young driver applying the pressure as well. He would capture the second spot, but a hard charging Joey Ancona, would enter the mix in the closing stages. Ancona got into third and mounted a last lap attack to capture second. Moles rounded out the super 600 podium, during just his third event in a winged micro sprint.
“Getting third in this wing class really pumps me up,” said Moles, on the podium. “Especially as little as I’ve ran in this class, I just have the best people in the business working with me, and helping to keep my head on strait.”
Next up would be the evenings curtain closer – the 30-lap non-wing feature. Rolling off from the fourth position, a dicey start saw Justyne Hamblin move into 3rd as T.J Smith passed Christian Hickman and opened up a window. An early caution set the stage for Moles get back around Hamblin after he too, made the move on Hickman. During the next green flag run he was able to retake third to sit in the cat bird seat watching the lead battle ahead of him. Three more cautions would bunch the field until the two leaders became cautions themselves. First, Austin Stone brought out the caution, on lap 26 while running second, and then Smith, two laps later.
Suddenly the battle between Hamblin and Moles was for victory.
The green flag waved on a two lap shootout with Moles leading Hamblin; both now vying for their first win of the season. With a clear track ahead, Moles jumped out to the lead and never looked back. Rolling out of turn 4 for the final time Moles clinched his fist in triumph coming to the checkered.
After hovering over the podium for weeks, he drove the 01 to the center of the victory circle Saturday Night at Lemoore Raceway.
“This one definitely counts and I’m pumped,” said Moles in victory lane. “My confidence is pretty high working with Shawn Smith, Jerrod Huckleberry, and the whole Salmon team. I mean it’s hard not to have confidence working with a group like that.”
Mitchel Moles is finding his stride heading into one of the most prestigious stretches of the season.
On the Radar:
- June 8, 2018: King of California Series Round 7 – Keller Auto Raceway at Plaza Park (Visalia, Ca.)
- June 9, 2018: King of California Series Round 8 – Lemoore Raceway (Lemoore, Ca.)
- June 26-30, 2018: California Speedweek
- 6/26 – Dixon Speedway (Dixon, Ca)
- 6/27 – Delta Speedway (Stockton, Ca)
- 6/29 – Keller Auto Raceway (Visalia, Ca)
- 6/30 – Lemoore Raceway (Lemoore, Ca)
- July 19 – 21, 2018: Clay Cup Nationals – Deming Speedway, (Deming, Wa.)
Non-Wing: Qual – 1st , Heat – 2nd, Main – 1st (4th)
Super 600: Qual – 4th, Heat – 2nd, Main – 3rd (3rd)
Mitchel Moles would like to thank-
- Southern Pacific Farms
- Salmon Motorsports
- Huckleberry Motorsports
- Adams Performance
- Factory Kahne
- Shawn Smith
- The whole Salmon Family
- All of his supporters and fans
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